Things We Sort Of Learned: Nottingham Forest (H)

What did we learn? Well, we don’t seem to learn much do we? Really. I mean almost nothing. Nothing new was learned tonight for certain. Same old same old. Or was it? Let’s find out.


My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style

It’s said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But I can tell you it’s not, I just looked it up. It’s the state of being seriously mentally ill. Or it’s the name of an extreme workout. Apparently.

However we are repeating the same performance, with the same results and yet don’t change things up. Which is driving me slightly insane.

It’s like we don’t care, we’re like an avant-garde jazz troupe riffing and jamming and soloing for our own entertainment. Screw the audience or the end result. It’s all about the jarring alto sax of the short sideways pass set sharply against the trilling jazz flute of the turn inside and pass backwards. Great. With the off-beat tinny Harmon muted trumpet sound of our two best players sitting deep and passing back and forth to each other punctuating the senses. Nice.

It’s becoming a hard watch, as the many empty seats tonight will testify. I’d wager the actual attendance was below that which was announced as well. No word on season ticket renewal figures yet, they will be interesting to see.

Yes we were at times bright and vibrant in the first half and we did carve out some good chances though no absolute clear cut, off your seat ones. But yet again we failed to take any of them. Yet again an opponent with limited ambition on the night ended up quite easily repelling us.

So it would be hard to criticise or evaluate Sir Benny of Norwich. I don’t think it would have been any different had good Nelson played, it certainly wasn’t when Watkins came on. We could have the best striker in the world upfront *SPOILER ALERT - WE HAVEN’T* and he’d struggle to score goals with this set up.

I’m down with the whole project and that, but come on. Change it up. RJ


The only time we really looked a real threat going forward by moving the ball quickly was when Wes was introduced.

His arrival saw us with both a player whose first thought is to move the ball forwards, if he can, and also a player who occupies space further up the pitch in positions where you can actually cause the opposition some problems.

His probing forward passes turned the Forest defence round to face their own goal, a much less comfortable proposition for a defender that what had gone before.

The impetus Wes brought to the team, also infected the crowd and we had the semblance of noise from the Barclay for the first time proper that evening.

Alas Forest snuffed that brief rally out and very professionally saw the game to its conclusion from there.

More Wes please, sooner and for longer. He won’t be around forever and I’m not ready to let go yet. RJ

Beast from the East

Were it not for Grant Hanley’s domination of the lively Brereton then we could have gone home even more disappointed.

He was imperious, particularly in the first half. Winning headers, foot races, tackles and hilariously bouncing Brereton off him in one robust shoulder to shoulder challenge. Brereton’s frustration with that showed shortly afterwards, when the older and wilier Hanley beat him to the ball, Brereton went in with his shoulder seeking revenge, but it was to Hanley’s back not to his shoulder. Hanley thereby won the free-kick and the battle.

Hanley is the real Beast from the East and luckily for us he’s more than just a three day weather phenomenon. RJ

One L in Onel.

The Cuban Missile looked sharp again, fast direct and tricky with the desire to get to the ball and also the will to do his defensive duties.

He suffers from the same problem as Josh Murphy, in that often when he managed to get into a position to cross the ball in, there were only one or two in the box to aim at and they were crowded out by five or six defenders. Or in Murphy’s case tonight when he strikes a ball that’s too hot for the keeper to handle, there’s nobody following in.

One L’s run and pull back to Maddison in the second half was as close as we came and one wonders what he’d be like if he was able to run on to more through balls like the one that led to that chance. RJ


It wasn’t all bad though, we got to witness a proper streaker. Not some fat lad who just about makes it onto the turf before being face planted by just a man in a jackets but a glorious, carefree streak down the whole length of the pitch.

Our hero even started to take his trousers off, without factoring in that this would make it difficult to run and indeed he slipped and fell.

He may have been overserved.

I think it crossed his mind to flash his percy at the River End, but then took one look at them and thought better of it.

The stewards were still miles away from him at this point but disappointingly he ran back towards them when the whole of the rest of the pitch beckoned. He could have gone on forever.

Again he dropped his trousers, impeding his motion in the process and became an easy take down for the just a man in a jackets in the end.

This brought a muted climax to what until then had been an uplifting streak and probably the highlight of the second half.

It was the sort of thing of which commentators say, “Nobody wants to see stuff like that.” But they’re entirely wrong.

That’s exactly the kind of stuff we want to see. Unless we’re mirthless killjoys. RJ